15 January, 2010

dreams.

I have these dreams.

And you're still alive.

And I think to myself,

"now what was all the fuss about?"
or
"I can't wait to tell everyone the good news!"
or
"Wow! What a magician you are! You fooled us all!"

In my dreams I don't scoop you up
and attack your neck with kisses and tears like I would
if my dreams were real life.

I just look at you matter of factly
and feel glad that it was all just a big misunderstanding.

I wish I could have a nice sit down with
that dream mommy of yours.
I'd beg her to scoop you up and give you a big delicious snuggle
from your real mommy who's arms
are simply ravenous over your memory.

alas.

God is still Good.

All the time.

Even when I'm sleeping.

Because of him, one day the dreams I dream tonight
will be the reality of my every day.
forever and ever.

and ever.

76 comments:

mandy said...

My Heart and my soul aches with and for yours. I love you! We all do. Thankyou for sharing your insides with us.

smf said...

Aussie Mama here with a little man born a week after your precious Gavin. I have always vaccinated my kids but had some really strong gut feelings about not doing it for this baby and then I came across your blog. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for reminding me why vaccinations are so important. PJ received his yesterday.

My heart aches for you dear Natalie and I am deeply sorry for your loss. As I write this tears are flowing and it is hard to even see the screen. I am sending you love, comfort, strength, support, hugs and most of all thanks. From one mama to another, thank you.

With much love, Sarah

PS Sweet dreams...

OMI PHOTOGRAPHER said...

OH nat.

Hills said...

I'm amazed at how much you still feel close with God. I remember the difficult time I had when I came back from my mission...and I just wanted to scream and yell at him...I did almost every day. I hated God for a very long time...I am amazed that you still have so much love and confidence in him...time has passed and eventually my wounds were healed. I'm sure that you probably heal faster when the hate isn't there...so I'm proud of you and amazed...

I do know what it feels like to lose your most prized possession. I'm so sorry that you are going through this...If you ever want to chat, then I'm here. I know we haven't really been close even though we were next door neighbors, but I'm a good friend...and would love to be for you.

We loved Gavin and still miss him too...

Hugs and Loves...

Hills

Olivia said...

What beautiful and touching words. I Love You Natalie and continue to carry you in my heart and prayers.

Genie Marie said...

Beautiful words Natalie....and yes because of Him......you will hold Gavin again someday...forever. Praying for you bunches!

Dawn B said...

what a beautiful, strong and loving mommy and wife you are. To warm someones heart as you have done for me is just amazing.

lovingmylife said...

Oh Natalie may you always be able to dream of your sweetie. Prayers for you are still pouring out for you and your family!

ninibeans said...

like the first comment, I too struggled with the decision to vaccinate...there is no more question, my boy WILL be and it's because of you. THANK YOU!

My heart hurts for you, you are constantly in my thoughts and prayers. I have never thought of someone I didn't know IRL like I've thought of you. You are loved beyond measure...you as well as your sweet sweet Gavin.

Love and prayers to you Natalie!!
Nina

Kristine said...

Oh Natalie................I remember waiting for the sun to go down so I could dream of my sweet baby,so I could pretend it was just all a horrible dream and then I would wake and reality would set in. I hate that you have to be in this pain, that your poor arms are aching for sweet Gavin and I wish you strength so much strength
XO
Kristine from Canada

Mary said...

we ache for you, natalie, and are still praying. thank you for being so real, so honest...
praying for hope and rest and everything you may need.
mary, bahamas

ec said...

inspiring.

you are one amazing woman.

dreams do come true, i know that yours will too. God IS Good.

Kristen said...

Trying to find the words that expresses the deepest of pain is sometimes the most difficult task. But your words, the way you write, it seems to flow beautifully from you. I think you have a gift. And I pray that that gift of writing can be a cathartic to you in this time.

And my prayers continue for you and your family.

Kerri said...

Natalie, you continue to be in my prayers. I can only imagine the longing and the emptiness... I hope you can continue to feel the love of others through their faith and prayers. I, too, have felt the physical power of prayer, and I think it was just as you described it. I felt physically held up by something tangible.

And I will do my best to remember how much I need to love my babies at home, even if they're no longer babies.

mimi charmante said...

Natalie, my heart hurts for you. You write so beautifully and I can feel your pain from here. I think of you each day, and hope that with time, the sharpness will dull a bit.
There is so much love being sent your way sweet girl~
xx

Anonymous said...

You are making me cry. I'm so sorry for your loss, but Gavin is heaven's gain. He will spend eternity with his Savior. We're praying for you and your family. The Lord never allows anything to happen that we cannot handle. Love, C

heather... said...

oh Natalie. I ache for you. I lost my daughter in April of last year, very suddenly, also to a respiratory illness. I pray every night that I will dream about her, but here I am, nine months later, and I still haven't. I am so glad you have been able to dream of him.

It is a hard lonely road after you lose a child. We mamas are here for you to try to make it a little less lonely. Anything I can do, please let me know.

xoxo

Laura said...

Your faith is absolutely unwavering, even in the face of life's biggest adversity. I sit here with tears streaming down my face and I don't know if I would have able to handle it like you are, if I were in your shoes. You write so beautifully and you are right - you will have your baby in your arms again and he won't be taken away. Ever. Prayers for you continue. You are loved by so many.

Anonymous said...

Oh Natalie, Everytime I read your blog it reminds me of how blessed we are to have these little angles in our lives. My heart is just breaking for you, your strenghth is amazing! I think of you and your family often and I remember to be more patient with my three boys and to give lots and lots of love. I hope that God will give you the strength to heal and we will be praying for you always.

Love from North Carolina

monica & ed said...

natalie, you are a true inspiration. i couldn't agree more with all the prior comments. i visit your blog and am overwhelmed by a sense of sadness for your loss but also a sense of being uplifted, as your words are so positive beyond measure... so hopeful, so faithful. you are certainly blessed with a gift. i know your baby can feel that still, your love for him. he is basking in god's light in heaven and the strong warmth of your heart reaches him. thank you for sharing your journey with us. i will be vaccinating our girl and have no doubts about it any longer about it.

love, monica & ed

Sara said...

My heart aches for you. Words are hard to come by after reading your post. Know that you are not alone.

Angela said...

Beautiful words, Natalie. If you have a moment, this is for you:
http://accessorizeyourlife.blogspot.com/2010/01/in-arms-of-jesus.html

Praying, praying, praying.

Emily Hill said...

Absolutely. Beautiful.

kimsueellen said...

*tears* I wish I didn't know what these dreams were all about. I have had them myself. But God IS good...and I can't wait for the day you can be reunited with this tiny boy. Dreams are such a blessing, even though sometimes we can't touch them...they are a gift. Thinking of you almost every minute of the day...

Love you.

Tanis Miller, RNM said...

I lost my son four years ago. Your words so eloquently state how I still feel.

I hope you find peace and comfort in the love you have for your baby and in your other children.

liko said...

♥ u.

Anonymous said...

From a complete stranger who came across your blog from another photographer's blog that mentioned your story... know that you have people across the world paying for your family and mindful of your heartbreaking situation. You are loved. Also, as a fellow LDS member, your faith is a beautiful example to all who cross paths with this.

Lali Johnson said...

Your dreams WILL be your reality. Your faith is astounding. It's just what I needed right now. Thank-you from the bottom of my heart for loving our Heavenly Father so much and for believeing in him, and testifying in him. I think about you and your sweet family often. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Ryan,Erika and Kaylee Pettersson said...

i can't find words...I want to tell you what and example you are to me, how your strenght, faith and love are helping me want to be better. I can't find words to tell you how heartbroken I'm for you. how I can't imagine how empty your arms feel, and how slowly times goes for you now....I don't know you, never met you, and I feel great love for you. I pray for you, love you and think about you every day. have a sweet dream tonigh....

"one way to have a piece of heaven in your home is to have someone from your home in heaven..."

Melissa E Photography said...

I am so, so sorry. Faith filled prayers are coming your way, girl!

Tupu Wheeler said...

I saw many butterflies around Laie these past few days and every one made me stop and offer up a prayer in your behalf....

There is still so much pain in my heart for you... it reminds me of the losses in my life.... I felt again my own pain...

and then I remembered...

you're praying for us too...

and then comfort warmed my soul.

God is sooooo good.

Salma said...

You are going to heaven dear Natalie...
i know for sure... you are a tough, passionate woman... you really are my idol!
i respect you, always will..

my heart is with you and all your family..

God is truely good..

Salma from Cairo, Egypt

Natalee said...

Sending hugs your way. Thank you for posting your thoughts up for all to read. I think of you often you are in my prayers.
Aloha,
Natalee (pume) and Rex

Jenny said...

Continued prayers...mom to mom, believer to believer.

Beth said...

Natalie, I don't know you but I stumbled across your blog just a day before Gavin was taken into Heaven. I have been so touched and so moved by your faith I can't even begin to tell you. Selfishly, I read your entries in pure awe because you are such an amazing and beautiful woman of God. Your family is so lucky to have such a strong woman to help them through this, and we, the readers, are lucky that you are sharing this deeply personal time.

Thank you. You are in my heart and definitely in my prayers.

Love from Australia...

Larry Reeves said...

I love it, Natalie...just love it. Thank you.

Shelly Wutke said...

I read this and I just started to cry, because my sweet little man is sleeping in the other room and I so want you to be able to snuggle yours.

I've had those dreams before after I lost a loved one, and I've always believed they are God's gift to us.

I don't know you and didn't follow you until I heard you needed prayers, but I think of you often.

Shelly from Canada

Gisela Holguin said...

such a sweet beautiful dream... may you have many more to keep you comfortable.

iMaLLheaRt said...

Reading this made me cry because I try and imagine how it must be for you and my heart breaks for you. My heart breaks again thinking about my own little one in my arms. But then I remember that God IS good and I cry some more.

Thank you for being such an example.

Love you for everything that you've done. You really are going straight to Heaven!

Brandi said...

Just checking in....wondering if your day was as good as mine, or if you felt your heart breaking in the same breath as you felt God comforting?

Sarah said...

Anything I say will fall short of the comfort I wish I could give you. Have been reading since a photographer friend of mine asked us all to pray for you on facebook...and my heart aches for what you must be going through. I hope your faith continues to be the source of comfort for you that it has been. I'm not someone who prays on a regular basis, but reading about your wonderful family and your terrible loss has awakened in me the ability to pray sincerely. Hang in there, your boys need you.

Katie said...

*tears*
Your strength is so inspiring.

Anonymous said...

People you don't even know are praying for you. Stumbled across your blog. Here's to strength, you're in my prayers.

Kasha said...

Just a random stranger who found you and your amazing testimony and faith. I am sitting here sobbing. I wish I was half the mom you are. You inspire me. You uplift me and I wish I could give you a hug.
www.grubandstuff.blogspot.com

Mariko said...

I have been having this dream as well, as in I see you with your baby and I think, "Oh, that was silly of me to think that all that happened when everything is perfectly fine."
It's so hard to tell what a nightmare really is.

Lea Anne said...

I wish I had words that would offer some sort of comfort, but I do not. I am praying for you and thinking of you each and every day. I am amazed by your strength and unwavering faith. Sweet dreams...
-A mommy of all boys in St. Louis, MO

Amelia and Justin said...

I recently found out I am pregnant with my first child; something about that makes me pray harder for you.

I don't know you, and you don't know me, but your strength is an inspiration to me, and your testimony is so comforting. God is good. You are blessed, and you have blessed me by sharing your story.

Meiken said...

Thank you for that beautiful poem. It makes me treasure the atonement and the resurrection. I am so grateful for our Savior, that because of him, you will hold that little one again. Thank you for your inspirations. Are prayers are still with you!

Kristen said...

thank you for sharing. you have no idea how sharing your vulnerable raw feelings blesses the lives of others.

Meilani said...

This is beautiful. I love the line, "now what was all the fuss about?" You are so good at expressing yourself Natalie. We continue to pray for you.

K.C. + Sherry Layton said...

We have not yet met, i am sherry layton from your studio apt. i just wanted to let you know how much your testimony of the goodness of god and the strength that you receive from him has touched my soul! you are an amazing mother and i really look up to you and your family! Thank you for writing your thoughts, they are truly a blessing to read. KC and I have your beautiful family in our prayers.

M Rummel said...

Natalie, I am another soul that hasn't met you but we share mommy-hood. My family and friends are prayer for you and your family daily. You are a beautiful soul with strength in the Lord. Keep trusting Him.

I pray this link helps: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsVYeUTVMQs

Tasha said...

Not a day goes by that I don't think of you, Gavin, and your family. I can't stop the ache I feel for you which is nothing compared to what you and your family feel. Many have survived the loss of a child and many have done so without an outlet. It is a wonderful thing that you are able to share your voice with people that want to wrap you in love. BIG hugs to you. ♥

Anonymous said...

Your are in my thoughts and prayers all day. Praying for more and more strength, peace and wisdom. You are so loved.

The Ah Quins said...

Oh Natalie, your posts always let the flood gates open for me even though I've never gone through what you have. Thank you for reminding me to hug my baby a little tighter, to be a little more patient etc. You and your family are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Megan and Keli'i said...

We love you Norton family. Our thought and prayers are always with you.

Anonymous said...

I have been admiring the photo of you and baby Gavin for days now and allow the tears to fall freely each time I view it; what a beautiful, beautiful treasure!

Much love and tender prayers,

Kemy

xo

Doin' It Digital (Shannon C.) said...

So sorry...you are so strong! Keeping you in my prayers.

Von Orgill said...

Aloha Natalie and Richie,

Our prayers have continued non-stop for you! We feel so blessed to know you and to be learning from you and we are learning so much! May the peace of heaven be yours, especially in those quiet moments.

With love, aloha and admiration,

Von & Sherri

severegirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
severegirl said...

I don't usually write to people I don't know, but I just wanted to tell you how much your experience has touched my heart. I have a little boy who is six weeks old. I was holding him in my arms the day I read that you had lost little Gavin. I just held him so tight and sobbed into his little neck and shoulders and kissed him a million times it seems begging him to never leave me. Your words today are what I did then. Reading that today...that is when I thought, I just have to write to you. I can't imagine what you are feeling, but I literally ache in my heart for you. I read through your archives a few days later and realized you lost another Gavin and wept again. Yes, I am hormonal and weepy but still!:)You've suffered so much loss. I am so sorry. I lost my mother three years ago and I am still not the same. We were extremely close, I feel like our grief has been similar. Someone sent me some music after she passed away that touched me and I felt impressed to tell you about them. Music can be a big part of the healing process I think. "Somebody's Praying For Me" by Ricky Skaggs says just what you have been expressing in your words. I felt that strength too. "Held" by Natalie Grant meant alot to me too. I didn't lose a child like in the song but losing someone "too soon" was the message that I got from it and the reason it touched me. She also has one called "Our Hope Endures" that is powerful as well. If you haven't already heard these, you should listen to them. Lastly, if you feel up to it there is a talk by Elder Holland called "Sheperds Why This Jubilee?" where he talks of losing his father and he has a really touching way of looking at the plan of salvation. I know you probably don't feel like doing much yet, but I wanted to share this with you for when you do. I'm not a big country or gospel music person but these songs are some that cross over genres. Please know you aren't alone. When I lost my Mom, someone said to me...welcome to the club no one wants to be a member of. That has stuck with me because it is so true. When you experience grief yourself, you know what people are feeling when they describe it. People would ask me what they could do to help and I would say nothing because there really isn't anything but then I would tell them for yourself, go home and hug your Mom really tight and tell her how much you love her because I would give anything to do that one more time. Your story reminds us to do that with our children. Thank you for sharing your journey. Stay strong.

Anonymous said...

Natalie, we have never met but you were referenced on a friend of mine's blog. I have two young children of my own and I can only imagine how painful this must be for you. You and your family are constantly in my prayers. May God continue to give you the strength to get through each day. You are an inspiration to all.

Debbie said...

I don't use the word that I am about to use to describe you often because I feel it is bandied about much to freely and often with little understanding. Natalie you truly are awesome. I am utterly in awe of you and your spirit and mettle, your sons are blessed to have you as a mother, your husband as his wife and your parents as their daughter and they must all be so proud of how you have kept your faith, let alone your wit and charm, in such difficult circumstances. For what it's worth from a total stranger again I am sending you my love, my prayers and hugs. The change to your profile is quite beautiful and utterly heartrending. God bless.

Anonymous said...

Dear Natalie, I continue to follow your blog and stand in amazement as you share your feelings. Most would probably shut down and grieve privately. Yet, you continue to offer us a window into your soul. You continue to inspire so many. Today, in stake conference, in the youth meeting, a young lady explained your story and even quoted your blog. Far from the many who have taken the time to respond, your expression of faith has touched many thousands more. Thank you for who you are and who you ate becoming. Little Gavin will always be yours. May the Lord make up the difference for you through his continuing outpouring of love.
-Suzanne
alpine

Maly and Dan said...

Thank you! You and family are still in our prayer here in Central Coast CA. LOVES AND HUGS!

Scott Larsen said...

I am so sorry to hear about your most recent loss. No one should have to go through as much as you have. I only hope that you once again can find the strength to thrive in the face of adversity, the strength that has inspired so many of us through our tough times. -Scott

kristen said...

oh, sweet natalie.
I don't know you.
I haven't lost a child.
I know I don't know how you feel.
but... I'm a mama too & I am sitting here crying for you & your loss.
thank goodness for the Gospel & knowing that you will be with your Sweet Little again.
but for now, I'm sure your soul just aches. I hope you have lots of time to sleep & dream those comforting dreams.
and here are a few more prayers coming your way from another friend you've never met.
xoxo
from new york

Tricia said...

I am in awe of you. My husband is driving us home right now, my four month old daughter sleeping in the back.... I've spent the entirety of our hour drive home from Seattle reading you posts to my husband aloud, choked with tears.... I could hardly get the words out. You are walking through mine ( and I'm sure ever parents) worst fear, and I am amazed with your strength, faith, perseverance and love. How is it, you, while enduring unspeakable loss and tragedy, can somehow encourage, and uplift, and pray for others... Only by the grace of God. I gather you are mormon, I am not, but am a non denominational Christian, but am so encouraged by your very evident faith and love for christ that bridges the gap of religiousity. Yours is a genuine faith, a life changing faith, you are an example of Christ, and what happens when we put our trust in Him despite circumstances, and in the face of fear. My head is pounding from the intensity of my tears, I'm hurting for you more than I can even explain. It's as if it was my own loss.... I pray that my tears, and my prayers might carry even the smallest piece of your horrendus burden, continue to fix your eyes on Jesus, and cast your cares on Him. You are an example to us all. May the Lord bless you and keep you, may he make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you, may He lift up his countenance upon you and give you his perfect peace, both now and forevermore.
Love, Tricia, Matt & Cora

Orrin and Shari Baker said...

You strength is an inspiration to me. Thank you for your example of faith. Faith in God's plan of happiness and the ability to be together with our families for eternity. Thank you.

singlemomma_cc said...

My heart goes out to you...my soul aches for you. I cannot possibly fathom the heartbreak you must feel daily....I admire your strength and faith.

Michelle Jones said...

I hope you don't mind that I put this amazing, poignant poem on my blog to share with my circle of friends. Of course I noted, you the author.

You have touched my life today. So much. I want to be near you and feel of your resonating goodness. Thank you for not restraining yourself from sharing with the world. I am so sorry for your loss. So sorry, my friend who I've never met.

I hope tonight while you sleep, you feel a warm brush of a prayer from me.

And thank you for making me a better mommy tomorrow.

Kiley and Amy said...

Thank you Natalie for impacting my life and testimony more than you'll know. My prayers continue to be with you and your sweet family.

Kate said...

I don't even know you and I love you so much... I feel connected to you through your motherly love... tears of love, sadness and joy are rolling down my cheek. God is good.

Rachel Clare said...

what a beautiful testimony you have.

Terri Ludvigsen said...

Natalie,
Your story was shared by other photographers here in Florida, and many prayers were offered up for you and your family. Your testimony and faith has touched me deeply both as a Mother and Believer.

Anonymous said...

Your story was shared today on a question where someone was asking whether a mother has the right to insist everyone in the family be vaccinated against pertussis if they want to see her newborn, or wait for 6 months until the baby is fully immunized. Amongst great whining and complaining about people's rights to choose whether they want to get a shot or not. Unfortunately I don't think many read or listened or felt.

My grandfather was known for loving the song "God Be With You Til We Meet Again", and mine has always been "Families Can Be Together Forever." God bless you and yours.

And yes. My kids are vaccinated, and my hubby got his booster (I'm pretty sure I got mine as well.) Pertussis is in our area and unable to be contained.